Handymerchant, or for whom the Customs Union is in favor
Less than a month left until Kazakhstan's entrance into Customs Union with Russia and Belarus, but there are more questions than answers on present moment. Objectively, a big economical alliance would help our home economy. However, the tradition to turn inside out every good beginning gives a clue that different things might happen.
In 21st century the majority of states top authorities realizing, that integration is time-approved method to increase economics' effectiveness; financial flows, goods, services and labor are moving more rapidly; the more larger market is, the less expenses it has on each unit of production. But primarily advantages from it are going for most powerful states and companies. In conditions of existing realities the optimal way to Kazakhstan is to exchange its market for a common market share with other participants.
Member countries couldn't be limited by Customs Union in narrow meaning of the word. Which is to say, over-national authorities will appear; firstly in economical life, then in political too. Businessmen are usually going easier into alliances than politicians. But Astana controversially happened in Customs Union. The politicians are speeding the process, and entrepreneurs have many questions without answers. Because of that it is natural, that Kazakhstani makers are expressing concerns either on Customs Union and WTO (for instance, VAT rate or custom fee on imported cars).
Russian companies will get competitive advantages over this. A big player gets more advantages by virtue of lesser expenses per production unit. Before crisis it could be said about Kazakhstan, that financial sector will feel itself comfortable within the new establishment; however, today the republic has "tension" with economical areas, for which it would have no worries in the future union. National economy must change somehow. In addition, the situation should be observed not only from position of own scale. Membership in big association gives many pluses and minuses, which today are hard to see. For example, how Western China-Western Kazakhstan-Russia transportation corridor will work. In terms of customs Kazakhstan goes close to European borders, which is something never happened before. Objectively, there are niches, in which Kazakhstan would be more preferable than its partners, but they will become obvious as early as in process of Customs Union real-time functioning.
Unambiguously, the customers would win from it. That is going virtually from the moment of gaining independency, since Kazakhs are wearing only imported apparel. Non-competitive manufacturing will disappear.
The Customs Union is also good for Russian goods suppliers. The path is already beaten within the frame of EurAsEC, when customs duties on goods, produced within country members, were cancelled. All in all, the route of simplifying procedures, which are so unloved by makers, is for everyone's profit. But global economical integration is a double-sided process, in which is needed not only to make terms than it is to reflect. When ones saying that participation in WTO is for the profit, and the others stating that it is not, then both of them are right. You need to enter WTO smart and prepared; otherwise if you are stupid, you'll be robbed. Customs Union is like defensive barrier for those countries, which are require time and floor for the purpose to gain experience and skill, and then to go to wider scene.
The Customs Union represents one of types of economical alliance of two or more states, the most important feature of which is presence of common customs territory, single system of control over external economical activities, including customs fees, preferences and limitations.
As historical experience shows, civilization, geopolitical, socio-political, economical-geographical, socio-economical socio-cultural and ethno-psychological factors are forcing to establish customs unions. Very often the defining aspects of forming regional alliances, including customs unions, are political and cultural tendencies in countries' level, commonness of geopolitical interests, similarities in mentality features, political cultures etc., allied by content and aiming. One of most important ideas understands that both processes of general strategy and particularly establishments of customs unions have historically characteristic and objective nature.
On present time following are well-known in the world: Arabian Common Market (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Libya, Mauritania and Syria), Central-American Common Market (Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Salvador), and Organization of Eastern-Caribbean States (Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, Montserrat, Sent-Kits and Nevis, Sent-Lucia, Sent-Vincent and Grenadines)
Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus Customs Union, which is appearing on our eyes, look quite typical for the purposes of abovementioned. Virtually right after USSR disintegration, which was happened as the result of historically regular and essential, but however temporarily tendencies of centrifugal nature prevailed, top authorities of leading post-soviet states were initiated integration processes. In full conformity with common system's theory, for the purpose of consolidation, initially it was essential to radically line up. In arrears of time, thousands of documents were developed and agreed, which were concerning by one or other level the sphere of sorting and regulation of post-soviet countries relationships in informational, military, economical, political, juridical and cultural areas. In this connection the conclusion of the Customs Union is appearing to be quite regular and predictable.
Kazakhstan's Participation in Customs Union will be additional factor, supporting its economical and political stability, allowing to substantively enlarging the potential sales market for the purpose of both further development of more or less stabile economical areas of present period (fuel-energy, non-ferrous and iron metallurgy and crops industry) and for renewal of fallen into decay (winemaking, fruit and vegetables growing etc.). More advantageous conditions for cross-countries flows of capital and labor will be created, which is undoubtedly will be a powerful factor of economical and social development.
Competitive areas will be also essentially enlarged, which is finally would have positive influence on common-economical dynamics. The intensification of collaboration of Customs Union country-members, aimed to solve infrastructural, ecological and other large-scale challenges which require combining of efforts, will become necessary and unavoidable.
Along with this it's obvious that minuses too will be unavoidable. Particularly, it would be hard to Kazakhstan to protect its own economical interests, taking in account the absolute economical domination of Russia in the structure of the Union. It is no doubt that economical and political elites of Kazakhstan will have to make additional room. The sharpest problems at that will be ones which are appearing as a result of property and power redistribution relationships.
Obviously, the process of agreeing of countries' interests and goals with union ones will be difficult and slow. This is witnessed not only by world experience, but our own too, gained over the last few decades. However, regional integration (regionalization) on this stage of development is regular and necessary. And there, curiously enough, the process of positioning itself in Customs Union will become definitive from the point of ability to hold a "politesse pause" in aim to defining the role of the partner; who is in front of you – a merchant or a handyman... It could be both in a same time. Could we then define our own role? One way or another, but intrigue is specified, and now it's all over small thing – to write own scenario of new relationships. But could our elite handle it?